Marcel Wittrisch


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(b Antwerp, 1 Oct 1903; d Stuttgart, 3 June 1955). German tenor. Born of German parents, he was brought up in Belgium and studied in Munich, Leipzig and Milan. He made his début in 1925 at Halle in Heinrich Marschner's Hans Heiling and joined the company at Brunswick the following year. The Berlin Staatsoper engaged him in 1929 and he remained there as principal lyric tenor until 1944, singing a wide range of roles; he gained a special reputation in W.A. Mozart. At Covent Garden in 1931 his Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus) was admired but he was considered somewhat hard and throaty in Die Zauberflöte. In the 1930s his repertory widened to include Lohengrin, which he sang at Bayreuth in 1937. After World War II he was heard as Narraboth (Salome) in Paris and as Siegmund and Parsifal at Stuttgart, where he continued to appear until his death. He made many concert tours, sang in operetta and films and, above all, made recordings, in which he was often compared to Richard Tauber. Though less individual in style, he was certainly comparable in timbre and less restricted in the upper register.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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